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There are two paths you can take to receive NHS-funded care:

S2 Scheme (E112) – This is route is a direct agreement between the NHS and the state healthcare provider of the country you choose to have the procedure in. For this reason prior approval is required, failure to do so will result in you paying for the full cost of care.

The S2 route is a state funded scheme available across the EU, EEA or Switzerland. The treatments available will be provided under the same conditions as local residents. Some healthcare systems operate under a co-payment scheme which will require you to cover a proportion of the cost for the treatment, however if the overall cost of treatment is less than that in your own country you may be able to claim back some of the cost.    

EU directive on cross-border healthcare (or Article 56) – You will have to cover the cost of the treatment abroad and then claim back the cost from the NHS on your return home. Not all treatments will require prior approval, but it is advised you consult your NHS care provider and get authorisation.

This scheme was launched in 2011, it grants European residents the right to travel and purchase healthcare services from around the EU, EEA or Switzerland. This scheme is quite similar the S2 Scheme, with some difference.

To see the difference between the two schemes please read our S2 and EU cross-border healthcare (or Article 56) comparison

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